Home and business security systems grow in popularity

Published 31 March 2010

There are two misconceptions regarding the installation of security systems to protect your business or home: that these systems are very expensive, and that they are a hassle to use; once people realize that this is not the case, they also find out that these systems have additional advantages: they can protect from other hazards, including fire and carbon monoxide poisoning; and protecting one’s assets by installing a security system might save money on insurance

Last March, a burglar cut the power and crashed through the front door of Jo Prang’s pharmacy in Rapid City, South Dakota, during a blizzard, taking 4,000 prescription pills. Prang received a call at home that there was a problem at the business. Because the pharmacy’s motion-sensor security system was battery supported, it wasn’t uncommon for a high wind to set off the security system, so Prang ignored the alarm. “I felt violated, because the place was secure,” Prang said.

It could have been worse. She almost slept at the pharmacy that night because of the weather. If she had stayed, Prang would have encountered a hammer-carrying thief. “Who knows? If he had come at me with a hammer, I would have been lying on the floor dead. That kind of brings your vulnerability to mind,” she said.

Rapid City Journal’s Andrea J. Cook writes that Prang vowed to improve her security system, and a year later, she has done so.

After the burglary, Prang turned to a security company for advice on how to improve her security, and on the advice of the police department, Prang also installed a video surveillance system. The video system runs on a perpetual tape, which police recommended over a motion-activated system, she said.

She has made other improvement. “Now we have glass breakage; if you break the glass on any of the windows in both buildings, it’s connected to the alarms,” Prang said.

Prang said she feels more secure with the updated security system. There is another lesson for business owners who might be worried about the rash of business burglaries in recent months: “You don’t have to spend a fortune,” Prang said.

Probably one of the biggest misconceptions for any type of security system is that it’s extremely expensive and the average business owner can’t afford them,” Katie Fleming, marketing and sales director for Knight Security, told Cook.

Thanks to technology improvements, a security system for a small business can cost less than $1,000, she said. “Obviously, the larger the space, the more the cost goes up,” Fleming said.

Most security companies provide a free consultation. They will come to your business or home and do a walk-through.

The other misconception is that security systems are complicated and “a hassle” to use. The new systems are more user-friendly and less complicated to operate. They are also less intrusive, Fleming said. The devices are smaller and wireless now. They can